Having A Ball At The BEACH...Mission Beach, San Diego!

One CANNOT visit California without making a trip to the beach...and THAT is exactly where we would all be heading for DAY 3 of our BIG, FAT FAMILY VACATION!

We had already glimpsed the water from the top floor our house and by driving through town.  Today would be the day that we would head out there to enjoy the sand and the sun ourselves.  My previous experience with the Pacific Ocean was that the water is quite chilly.  We southerners, like the warm Gulf water, so I KNEW that I would not be taking a plunge into that cold water.  Instead, I determined that we needed to pack a picnic lunch and bring towels to to lay around on the beach and enjoy the mild temperatures.

Robby and Justin ran back to the grocery store for an ice chest, sunscreen and a few more incidentals for our picnic, while Parker Ann got her morning nap in.  We had researched all of the beaches in my handy, dandy little Frommer's (couldn't, shouldn't and wouldn't ever travel without it...).  Since we were actually staying in the La Jolla area, the beach we decided to visit for the day was, Mission Beach.

Upon arriving, we found a place to park and then drug all of our stuff out of the van; beach towels, ice chest, sunscreen and bags of snacks.  As we walked out onto the sand, Caitlin said, "Where are the chairs?"  "Ummm...this is  NOT Miami, dear...you just throw your towel out and lay on the sand."  She wasn't too crazy about that, but what other choice did she have?  We quickly found that the beaches in California differ from the ones in the south in more than one way.  First, since the temperature is much cooler, one does not sweat while laying out there.  The water, however, is just as chilly as I remembered.  None of us were able to garner the courage to put our entire body in it.  The other thing we noticed is that the beaches are covered with seaweed along the water's edge.  Robby even saw someone picking some up and putting it in a bag...not for eating I hoped (but he thought maybe so...).  MOST of us slathered up with sunscreen even though it did not seem very hot out there (remember, that "no sweating" factor...).  Ryan, laughingly did not heed the warning and later was definitely NOT laughing.

There are lifeguards in these big enclosed lifeguard stands that every once and a while use a megaphone that can be heard over a loud speaker, issuing warnings; "Move to the other side of the flag, surfers...", "No dogs allowed on the beach or boardwalk until after 6 p.m.".  I didn't see anyone who resembled the folks off of "Baywatch", but there was one lifeguard whom we watched stretch, run and do all sorts of exercises.  Ryan said that if he didn't stop soon, he would be too tired to save anyone if the occasion DID arise.

Our "California Beach Day" was great fun for everyone!  Well...except for Ryan later in the evening.  He told me that he had learned something new that had never been taught to him in his physiology class...One's body can actually cook from the outside in!  Oh well...we TRIED to warn him.  I rubbed his burn down with Aloe Vera, gave him and Ambien and some Advil and sent him to bed.  Robby and I had a SURPRISE planned for everyone the next day.  NO ONE knew what it was and had been guessing for days.  I couldn't WAIT for them to find out what it was!

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